DENVER (CBS4) – One of the last remaining large undeveloped plots of land in the Denver metro area could soon be home to 2,300 homes and businesses. Neighbors say they want the farm land with remarkable views to remain.
“This hilltop is one of the signature elements of Westminster’s identity. It has some of the best and clearest views of downtown and the Front Range in the entire metro area. One of the exciting opportunities that we have is that we’re going to share those views forever with the public,” said Jeff Handlin who is one of the developers of the project now named Uplands.
The 230 acres surround the area of 84th Avenue and Federal Boulevard. A corner on Federal looking toward downtown Denver and a pocket of land along Lowell Boulevard will become parks to ensure the public has access to iconic views.
The farmland was owned by the Pillar of Fire church, which has the iconic and historic Westminster Castle from Presbyterian University on its property. Forty acres south of 84th Avenue and west of Federal Boulevard will remain church property in its rural form.
“This hilltop was always slated for a college town, small homes, small shops and businesses.” Handlin said. “This was always designed for that. What’s exciting for us is taking community input, designing together so that the people designing it are ultimately going to be using it. We’re getting a lot of input we didn’t think we’d get like where the parks should be and what should be in them.”
Handlin says the city has zoned the area to fit up to 3,500 homes, but preliminary plans would build 2,300 homes.
While developers have held community meetings many neighbors don’t support the plans. A Facebook group has started to “Save the Farm.”
“This is the last piece of land that isn’t developed. I don’t know anywhere else outside the mountains you can get this kind of view,” said Ken Biles who lives a few blocks from the proposed development. “I don’t know that the city of Westminster really cares. They’re looking at the bottom line, and I understand that. There’s more than the bottom line involved.”
The first of many public hearings will be held before the Westminster Planning Commission on Dec. 10.
Handlin believes the development will help connect neighborhoods and schools in the area through sidewalks, which don’t currently exist, and trails.
“We just have to complete these connections and we believe that is what will be the best for Westminster,” he said.